Apparently Diebold's problems aren't limited to Maryland, Georgia or Alaska -- what a shocker.
Down in the Sunshine State, during a week of early voting before next week's nationwide midterm election, certain Diebold machines have been registering some votes for Democrats as selections for the Republican candidate. For instance, Gary Rudolf, a voter at a polling site near Ft. Lauderdale, tried to vote for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis (D); however, when the Diebold machine gave him the final review screen, it showed his vote was about to be cast for Charlie Crist (R). The problem took three tries to get resolved with the help of a local poll worker.
Mary Cooney, a Broward County Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman, informed The Miami Herald that it's "not uncommon for screens on heavily used machines to slip out of sync, making votes register incorrectly. Poll workers are trained to recalibrate them on the spot -- essentially, to realign the video screen with the electronics inside. The 15-step process is outlined in the poll-workers manual." Further, no one in Broward County is even sure how large of a problem this is "because there's no process for poll workers to quickly report minor issues, and no central database of machine problems." Is it any wonder that major candidates are urging voters to vote the analog old-fashioned way?
Um....15 step process? First of all, aren't most poll workers older folks, who tend to be a little, shall we say, uncomfortable with technology? And uh, 15 steps? How many of these folks haven't programmed the time on their VCRs yet? And how many of them still have VCRs cause they aren't ready to jump to the newfangled DVD thingamabobs?
Serial hugger Juan Mann ("One Man", not his real name) told reporters that the free hugs he handed out at a Sydney (Australia) mall are "fast food emotions" in a time of social isolation. He described it as "a way to make people smile", saying that "For every person who gets a hug, five walk past with a smile on their face."
Undeterred by police efforts to get him to move on (seen in the video), Mann collected more than 10,000 signatures on a petition he presented to the city council and efforts to "halt the hugs" then ceased.
The video was filmed by Shimon Moore, the lead singer of the Sick Puppies. He got a hug from Juan while he was working at an odd job in the mall and the two became friends. As a gift for his friend after Juan's grandmother died, Shimon put the video footage together with the band's song All The Same.
He also posted it on youtube.com where it immediately became a great hit and took Juan's mission worldwide. After receiving thousands of emails from fans asking permission to hold their own "Free Hug" events, Shimon says,
"You do not need permission. This is the people's movement. this is "your" movement. With nothing but your bare hands you can make THE difference."Imagine all the people . . .
Posted pix from my reunion and some other misc. pix at my smugmug site.
The White House said Monday that President Bush was no longer using the phrase “stay the course” when speaking about the Iraq war, in a new effort to emphasize flexibility in the face of some of the bloodiest violence there since the 2003 invasion.
“He stopped using it,” said Tony Snow, the White House press secretary. “It left the wrong impression about what was going on and it allowed critics to say, ‘Well, here’s an administration that’s just embarked upon a policy and not looking at what the situation is,’ when, in fact, it is the opposite.”
For large groups of trick-or-treaters, always set at least one child ablaze, ensuring enough light that other children won’t trip over uneven pavement.
Eh? My kinda humor. Other lists include 5 owners of ambitious combovers, 5 possible signs your congressman thinks your teenage son is hot and 5 things I'll bet are impossible for pirates.
Good way to kill some time.
If you can afford it, get a paid antivirus program as they're definitely better. Everyone seems to give http://www.kaspersky.com/af/globalstore?AID=1110836&PID=1227513 very good reviews.
Here's another free antivirus I just read about in one of the blogs I like --> http://www.clamwin.com/
You will get viruses if you're unprotected. They will make your computer incredibly slow. They may make things stop working. You will consider calling me for help. Seriously, install the antivirus software...
I've got my list on the fridge, along with release dates. Of course, now that I live in a second tier city (as opposed to NYC or LA), some of the release dates (from the NY Times...the only paper that matters) aren't really true here. Moving on...
So, I saw "The Departed" last night. Directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Jack Nicholson, Leo DiCaprio, Marky Mark and Matt Damon.
It's a little hard to ever forget the Jack Nicholson is Jack Nicholson, ya know? He was very good in his role as a mobster kingpin kinda guy. He only did a few classic "Jack" faces, which was good since they're kinda distracting. Leo DiCaprio is a really good actor, even though everyone forgot it cause of Titanic, Marky Mark was fine and Matt Damon has turned into quite a respectable actor when no one was looking.
It's a pretty violent tale, so be warned. Lots of people getting shot in the head and blood sprays from the opposing side of the head. Yuck. No brains or anything. Whew.
Nicholson is the big bad guy. He sorta takes on Matt Damon when he's a smart little kid and when Matt grows up and becomes a State Police Detective, he's actually still working for Nicholson (on the inside, get it?). Leo is a cop who is convinced to go undercover working for Nicholson (on the inside, get it?). Much hilarity ensues...
It's a bit of a stretch for Scorsese. I mean, he's known for New York Italian mobster flicks and this is a Boston Irish mobster flick. He manages the transition well.
Had some decent twists although I did kinda think "really? It's not over yet?" at one point.
I give it 3 Amys out of 4.
Hoping to see Marie Antoinette this weekend. Fingers crossed. Big hopes for this one.
Here's more details in case you see the plate. Personally, I think it's hanging up in some dinky apartment in Silicon Valley, over a tv playing Star Trek.
The folks over at Radar have put together a list of the dumbest congresspeople...Here's a sample of #2...
2. Representative Donald Young (R-AK)
The scene: Fairbanks, Alaska, 1994. Congressman Don Young, already in office for 20 years, is on the stump preaching the virtues of Newt Gingrich's Republican revolution to a group of high school students. Just look at all the wasteful things the federal government does with taxpayers' money, he tells them. The National Endowment for the Arts, for example, funds art involving "people doing offensive things ... things that are absolutely ridiculous." One student asks, "Like what?"
"Buttfucking," replies the great scourge of obscenity and instructor of youth.
Young's performance remains a classic in the annals of congressional idiocy, offering that rare, supremely unselfconscious moment in which one of our nation's legislative solons lets his addled mind graze freely. But the real irony of this legendary gaffe is that the congressman lecturing on government waste was the very same man who, years later, would be responsible for Alaska's fabled "Bridge to Nowhere," a $233 million project constructed entirely of pork. And it's the same man who, when asked about his state's outrageous $941 million transportation bill, boasted "I stuffed it like a turkey," before adding that detractors of the bridge—equal in length to the Golden Gate but connecting to a town with a population of 50—could "kiss my ear."
Brit medical journal says Iraq war has killed 600,000 peopleThe Financial Times reports that The Lancet, a British medical journal, claims over 600,000 people have died in the Iraq war, with the overwhelming majority dying from gunfire.
Conflict in Iraq has killed more than 600,000 people since the US-led invasion in March 2003, according to a controversial study published online on Wednesday by the Lancet, a leading medical journal. The researchers said their figure, far higher than any previous estimate, was more accurate than the death tolls produced by official Iraqi sources.Link
Gilbert Burnham of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, carried out the survey with doctors from Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad, using a technique based on interviewing a random sample of households throughout Iraq. They concluded that there were 655,000 “excess deaths” as a result of the war, equivalent to 2.5 per cent of the population; 601,000 died through violence, usually gunfire.
Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy—almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall. General Rick Hillier, chief of the Canadian defense staff, said Thursday that Taliban fighters were using the forests as cover. In response, the crew of at least one armored car had camouflaged their vehicle with marijuana....
Even successful incineration had its drawbacks.
"A couple of brown plants on the edges of some of those [forests] did catch on fire. But a section of soldiers that was downwind from that had some ill effects and decided that was probably not the right course of action," Hiller said dryly. One soldier told him later: "Sir, three years ago before I joined the army, I never thought I'd say 'That damn marijuana'.
It's a pain to keep up with this and other blogs. But we're kinda entertaining... Go over to Google Reader (get an account if you don't already have a gmail account) and set it up. You tell it what websites to monitor for you. You just tell it the URLs (like amygeek.blogspot.com) and then you go to the Google Reader site
that one site and it will list any updates to any of the blogs you told it to monitor.
See? You go to one place to see updates on all of the blogs you're interested in. Kewl, eh? And the thing that I think is interesting about using Google Reader is that you can access it from any machine. You don't have to install anything, so if you're sitting at a friend's computer, you can catch up on your blog reading.
Here's some blogs I like (it's easy to monitor lots of them with an RSS Reader - which is what Google Reader is):
www.wonkette.com - political gossip (from the left side of the aisle)
kschofield.spaces.live.com/feed.rss - political thoughts, entertainment (left side of the aisle of course)
Gadgets: www.engadget.com - gadgets 'n toys www.gizmodo.com - more gadgets 'n toys www.zuneinsider.com - info about the Zune - upcoming device from Microsoft www.pocketpcthoughts.com - helpful info about PocketPCs
Technology: www.microsoftmonitor.com - Info and thoughts about Microsoft
scobleizer.wordpress.com - Scoble's web 2.0 ideas
www.vowe.net - my buddy Volker's technology site. Technology with a German accent.
(Updated 10/12 to make it clearer cause that's always better.)
Twenty five years change ya. Men lose their hair. Oddly enough, it was easier to recognize the women, except for the first one who grabbed me and hugged me - I was totally clueless. In my defense, it was a little overwhelming when you first walked in. After a bit, I stopped trying to do the casual name badge glance and just started acknowledging that I had no idea who people were. Oddly enough, few were insulted.
1 restricted club
several amused Jews
1 friend who announced she's decided she's an alcoholic (while drunk. while drinking)
1 renewed friendship
way too many disco songs
priceless? (Alright, let's call it $47.50)
Oh yeah. Turns out when you give someone a ride you have to leave when they want to. I left without saying goodbye to anyone cause that would have taken too long. Leave 'em wanting more, I guess. Pix to be posted shortly.
Of course there was the guy on CBS news the other night that said the school shootings were because schools teach evolution. Damn liberal media.
You know, maybe it's all this damn teaching. If there weren't schools trying to force knowledge on innocent children, the world would be a better place. Hmmmm.....
From Wonkette comes this unbelievably disturbing story: it looks like we're surreptitiously beginning to mobilize against Iran:
Today, the USS Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group leaves port in Norfolk for the Persian Gulf. The group includes the USS Anzio, the guided-missile destroyers USS Ramage and USS Mason and the attack sub USS Newport News. Time and The Nation are among the mainstream mags saying this is the beginning of the (Iranian) war.
*Also from Wonkette, which has become the website to keep on bookmark this week:
Q: Why don't Republicans use bookmarks?
A: Because they bend over pages.
Last night, the CBS Evening News turned their broadcast over to a man named Brian Rohrbough, who lost his son during the Columbine massacre. Mr. Rohrbough proceeded to blame recent school shootings on: 1) the teaching of evolution, and 2) abortion.
Go here to watch him. Here's the transcript (thanks, CBS!):
I’m saddened and shaken by the shooting at an Amish school today, and last week’s school murders.
When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting. Since that day, I’ve tried to answer the question, “Why did this happen?”
This country is in a moral free-fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak, without moral consequences and life has no inherent value.
We teach there are no absolutes, no right or wrong. And I assure you the murder of innocent children is always wrong, including by abortion. Abortion has diminished the value of children.
Suicide has become an acceptable action and has further emboldened these criminals. And we are seeing an epidemic increase in murder-suicide attacks on our children.
Sadly, our schools are not safe. In fact, we now witness that within our schools. Our children have become a target of terrorists from within the United States.
In the Oval Office (probably hot at the moment, but poor judgement).
From an adult (I don't particularly care about the gender).
He lied about it under oath (idiotic man).
They impeached him.
A congressman (his name is Mark Foley. He's from Florida - those kooky southerners are at it again) sent sexually explicit emails.
Who work for the government as pages.
While being in charge of a committee that's focused on child sexual exploitation.
At the White House, Tony Snow, President Bush’s press secretary, initially characterized the scandal as “naughty e-mails”
The Republican leadership knew about this.
They didn't do anything cause they didn't want to lose his seat in the upcoming election.
But it became public (whoops).
So they pretended they didn't know.
And announced that it happened cause he's an alcoholic.
And put himself into rehab. (the rumor is that it's a Scientology rehab - he has quite a long relationship with the Scientologists, apparently. New strategy - if you get caught at anything and the damn public finds out about it, rush to rehab. Interesting angle.)
A former aide and other associates said in interviews that they did not believe Mr. Foley had a drinking problem.
Clinton = bad man. Ruined the country. Democrats are evil and immoral.
Republicans = kooky guys! Probably had a bit too much champagne. Vote Republican!
On Sunday, we took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island (I know, booooorrrinnngggg...we've all heard about that before...but wait! I did something different!) Took the car on the ferry (ah--you didn't see that one coming) and drove to Poulsbo, a small Norwegian village (heh. Didn't expect me to say that the village was Norwegian, did ya? They had flags and everything!) Really charming town that seemed to bring out my princess-ness - I had some sort of retail nightmare. Bought a solitaire game made out of wood (pretty wood) and semi-precious stones (I like wood and I like stones) (and I like games), fairies for my nieces (they hang and they're pretty), some weird gifts for friends, a fun thing to fondle at work (don't ask. I can't describe it without it sounding dirtier than it already does) and a throw for the house. I literally asked them to ring me up quickly before I bought anything else. I really have very limited self control. Interesting... Didn't miss reading my NY Times though - brought it with me and read it on the ferry, waiting for the ferry, etc. Worked out really well actually.
Went to dinner that night at a restaurant that's supposed to be very good (Cafe Juanita). It's a bit pricy for the area (not Manhattan pricy, but still...) and I have to say that I found everything pretty bland. I was surprised since the place gets good reviews in the little bitty Zagats guide for the Seattle area. I checked Yelp (a great site for folks to review local restaurants, shops, services, etc.) and it wasn't listed there, which I thought was odd. I felt like someone should have warned me, ya know?
It was Yom Kippur today. I really do think about the past year and what I'd like to do differently in the new year. I feel pretty good about the last year - not perfect, but in general, I'm pretty happy with the person I've been becoming. However, I am definitely not faux-pas free...I'm not quite the faux-pas fest I used to be though, so I guess it's all about the progress, eh?
I'll let you know when the pictures I took this weekend are up.